There's no shortage of innovation at The Lykos Group. Both Tom Lykos (left) and Dave Raffa grew up in and around home improvement companies, and their life-long experience makes them two of the more adventurous businessmen you'll find in the remodeling industry.

The company once had a handyman division, but closed it to focus on full-service projects — “Remodeling was a lot more profitable in terms of return on investment,” Lykos says — and recently sold its first spec home. The Lykos Group's high-end clientele has been relatively untouched by the nation's economic trouble, so Lykos says he's planning for modest growth even this year.

The newest innovation, though, is a switch to a paperless office. Documents that once were printed and passed out to everyone in the company are now viewed electronically, while incoming documents are scanned into a searchable database. A large portion of communication with clients is conducted over e-mail, and homeowners can access details of their projects through a password-protected area of the company's Web site. “It's made a difference in how quickly we can do things,” Lykos says, noting that documents are now always available, rather than sitting on one person's desk waiting to be passed on. “We're not far from being all that we can be at this level of our development.”

- Hayden Alfano